The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been an important contributor to the development of the guidelines to help providers of social networking services everywhere.
ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, said ‘The internet doesn’t recognise geographic borders. Connecting Australian cyber safety work – such as the Internet Industry Association (IIA) development of a new online services code of practice – to parallel activities in other countries, we can start to generate globally-effective solutions to online safety issues.”
‘I continue to be of the view that international co-operation will be increasingly the way to ensure children have a positive and safe experience of the internet and applications that utilise it – which is why the Australian Communications and Media Authority allocates a very meaningful portion of its resources to supporting practical international collaborations,’ said Chapman.
The guidelines recommends making social networking profiles for users under 18 private by default, and increasing reporting mechanisms for bullying or other anti-social behaviour on social networking sites. It provides recommendations for implementation by service providers to minimise the risks to users and information that can be incorporated into Australian safety campaigns targeted to parents, carers and users of services.
“The guidelines aim to ensure the online social networking experience remains a positive one by providing good practice recommendations to online social networking providers to assist them in providing proper protections for their users,” said Chapman.
Currently Facebook claims some 65 million members, Bebo says it has 55 million members and MySpace is the largest of the three claiming some 75 million users.